March 27th, 2008
11:55 AM ET
11 years ago

Nelson calls for banning Electoral College

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Nelson is calling for regional primaries."](CNN) - Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, on Thursday proposed an overhaul of America's presidential election laws, saying the current dispute over delegates in Florida and Michigan has exposed a flawed nominating system in need of reform.

In a speech on the floor of the Florida State Senate Thursday morning, Nelson said he will formally introduce legislation that will attempt to fix many of the problems exposed by this cycle's round of presidential primaries, adding the "time for reform is now.”

"This country cannot afford to wait that long, before we fix the flaws we still see in our election system," Nelson said. "The blessings of liberty cannot wait."

Specifically, Nelson said he will propose six rotating interregional primaries that "will give large and small states a fair say in the nomination process." The regional primaries would be conducted on dates ranging from March to June, Nelson also said, taking the place of the current early-voting states Iowa and New Hampshire - states which critics have long argued are not representative of the American electorate. The dates would initially be set by a lottery system for the 2012 election and would rotate positions in successive elections.

Nelson called for early voting in every state and the elimination of voting machines that do not produce a paper trail. The Florida Democrat also said all citizens should be allowed to vote absentee if they so choose, and is pushing for a federal grant incentive program to help develop voting by mail and via the Internet.

Nelson will also formally seek award the presidency based on the popular vote result, instead of via the Electoral College – a reform that will require a stand-alone bill since it would require an amendment to he Constitution.

"The goal is simple: one person, one vote," Nelson said in his speech Thursday.

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Charlotte

    I totally agree, a time zone vote would be the best, all polls would close at the same time. The next time zone could be first in the next election and so on. It has pros and cons. Ex: Kennedy won the electorial vote, lost the popular, Gore won the popular vote, lost the electorial. So you can see what could happen.

    March 27, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Donavon

    this man, he speaks so wisely on this issue

    March 27, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. mijnos

    At last someone is talking some sense. With an increasingly polarized country, we need such bills to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard.

    March 27, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. NW Independent

    This man is out to lunch!

    The electoral college was developed by the framers to make sure that populas states did not overwhelm the smaller states in every national election. It is a central part of our election process and a control over mob rule.

    It will never happen anyway. It takes 2/3 of each chamber of Congress and 3/4 of the States to ratify. There is no way the small states would ever agree to such an amendment even if you could get the 2/3 vote.

    This guy is a quack!

    March 27, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Eric Granneman

    Is anyone proofreading these articles?

    March 27, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Bill74

    If we get rid of the Electoral College System that will leave states likeNew York ( with New York City) and California ( LA ) to dictate to the rest of the country who the presidents will be based on populations alone. Leave the system alone, let the rest off the country in on the vote.

    March 27, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. kris

    ha ha..i wonder why..your candidate lost..

    March 27, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. J. Noel

    You go Bill Nelson. We need more open minded and good common sense people like you to represent the interests of this nation and its people. This is a great idea and it will make our election proccess fair.
    I am on your side for you are on the side of reasoning.

    "Life is a journey not a destiny."

    Miami Gardens, FL

    March 27, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Milton, Harrisburg, PA

    A change in primaries is a real possibility, but the electoral college change will never fly. The little states devoid of people will block that one.

    March 27, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Curtis

    I am a 23 year old. I am living in a very blue state and feel that my vote is worthless. So I simply don't vote. I never have and I never will (at least as long as the Electoral College still runs the show)This "one person, one vote" idea is exactly the thing we need to get people involved and excited that they could have a say in our government. A govenment that is very broken!

    March 27, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Joe

    Sen. Nelson shows an amazing misunderstanding of the wisdom of the founding fathers. The Electoral College prevents smaller–less populous–states from being marginalized and ignored in the general election. That's why changing it is important enough to require a constitutional amendment. Go ahead and fix–if you can–the flawed primary process, run by the parties. But leave our republic and its electoral process alone.

    March 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Iowan

    They knew in advance that the shouldn't have moved their primaries up early.

    March 27, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. john


    March 27, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Debbie, NJ

    Thanks Hillary. Another one of your tactics backfired on you.

    March 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Janet, Arizona

    We do need a total reform of our election laws. I would love to see the Electoral College gone. And the Superdelegates, also.

    March 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Rick

    They way we run primaries now gives the little guy with no money a chance to compete with the big spenders. Huckabee would have gotten nowhere if he had to campaign in a large area with a large population first.

    March 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Jen





    March 27, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Susan, TX

    They should do away with superdelegates, delegates and vote all one one day and whoever wins the popular vote should be the nominee. It seems to work everywhere else? Why not here in USA?

    March 27, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Mia

    If you do the math, New Hampshire and Iowa would not come close to electing a nominee on their own. The other states need to also have their say. I think the real problem is that Florida and Michigan wanted to be the "first" to tell the nation who should be the nominee. Changing the rules by breaking the rules 1) does not make you credible to even allow people to take you seriously or 2)is the democratic way of changing things. Laws are made for a reason.

    March 27, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. truth be told

    I agree with the one person = one vote.
    But then, you will always have a President chosen by either Florida, New York or California... Small States would be all but discarded...

    March 27, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Connie

    Richmond, Va
    I hardly think Nelson has any credibility or integrity if he is pushing for the "rules to be changed in the middle of the game"!! We can all see how this super delegate and electoral college system we now have is a disaster when people with money and clout (the Clintons) abuse the intent of such a system.

    So, yes change it but NOT in the middle of this election!!!! Who is he supporting anyway!

    And get off the Wright thing. Those who regularly attend church and believe in God/other deities, know that it is up to each person to develop their own personal relationship with that Higher Power! !! The media and Clinton (it's hard to distinguish) need to stop inflaming this and the racial issues!!

    March 27, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. Karen

    You don't have to be a Clinton supporter to see that regional primaries make sense. I am an Obama supporter, but obviously the system is broken and reform is needed. Four rotating, regional primaries – 1 per month in March through June – makes a ton of sense. The candidates have time to devote to all states without having to run a 6-8 month marathon as is happening now. All regions of the nation will get a chance to be in the spotlight and all Americans will be much better represented.

    March 27, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Political transparency.....

    We see right through ya........your candidate lost!

    March 27, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. NELSON Colorado Springs, Co

    yes, Sen Nelson banning to Electoral Collage would be good for country it's needed. The United State wouldn't be in the mess it in now

    March 27, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Khalil, Danbury, CT

    DUMP the Electoral College, ... AND, the Superdelegates!

    One man(woman), one vote is our Constitutional priciple and LAW!

    Respect the constitution! Respect the will of the people, in this our "... country of the people, by the people, and, for the people, ...".

    March 27, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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